The Stressful Battle of Alberta
Jitters will be high for the fourth game between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton (10pm, NHLN, CBC, SN, NHL.TV). Usually it was due to increased competition and dislike of their provincial rivals, but an additional layer of intrigue ensued with this game. The Oilers fell to third in the Scotia Northern Division after they lost 13-1 in three games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And currently the NHL’s top scorer Connor McDavid (40 points; 14 goals, 26 assists in 25 games) have been held up needlessly in three games, there is an even more uncomfortable feeling around the Alberta capital. The Flames visiting Edmonton are dealing with the shock of their coaching change Thursday evening. Darryl Sutter replaces Geoff Ward, who was sacked after Calgary’s 7-3 win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, but fifth place Flames will not enjoy Sutter’s immediate influence until early next week when he goes through NHL COVID-19 protocol and settles some of his at-home affairs at Vikings, Alberta. – Tim Campbell, staff writer
Canucks want to continue building
The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to grab their first straight win in more than a month when they host Maple Leafs for the second time in three nights (7:00 pm ET; NHLN, CBC, SNO, SNP, NHL.TV). Vancouver won four times in a row from January 25-30. The Canucks beat Maple Leafs 3-1 on Thursday behind the attacker Jake VirtanenTwo goals and a keeper Thatcher Demko31 saves. It was a strong performance and they did it centerless Elias Pettersson, who were scratched with upper body and everyday injuries. It is possible that the Canucks catch Maple Leafs at the right time with Toronto on a four-game winning streak, including three straight wins against Edmonton, and are playing its fourth game in six nights. Regardless, the Canucks scored early, responded well after Maple Leafs tied him up and went pretty much all out of his way to win. The Canucks have won two of their last three games, including 4-0 against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. Saturday’s win gave them something to build on. – Dan Rosen, senior writer
The stars are looking for a spark against the Blue Jackets
The Dallas Stars hope to end a four-game losing streak when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second of two games (8pm ET; FS-SW, FS-O, NHL.TV). The Stars, who scored at least three goals in six of their first eight games this season (5-2-1), have scored 19 while going 1-7-3 in their last 11 (1.72 goals per game). Though that doesn’t help going forward Alexander Radulov (11 points; three goals, eight assists) has missed the last 10 games with a lower body injury, joining the attacker Tyler Seguin and goalkeeper Ben Bishop on injury reserves, the Star should be untraceable and reverse the current trend. Dallas is eighth in the Discover Central Division. Star forward Joe Pavelski, who scored six points (two goals, four assists) against the Blue Jackets in three games this season, could be a veteran presence to help the Stars emerge from their slump. The Blue Jackets have been in a 15-3-1 position against Stars since the start of the 2012-13 season and have won three straight matches in Dallas, where they have been 8-1-0 up since December 29, 2011. – Mike G. Morreale, staff writer
New York Rangers in New Jersey Devils, 1 pm ET (ESPN +, MSG + 2, MSG, NHL.TV)
Chris Kreider has scored two hat-tricks and nine of Rangers’ top 13 goals during the 5-2-0 game in New York since going 0-3-1 in their previous four games. Satan has lost eight consecutive times on home ice and four games in a row overall.
Buffalo Sabers in New York Islanders, 1 pm ET (MSG +, MSG-B, NHL.TV)
Islanders are 5-0-1 in their last six matches and 10-2-2 since February 1. Saber have lost five consecutive times (0-4-1) and 2-8-1 since 15 February. .
Philadelphia Flyers in Pittsburgh Penguins, 1 pm ET (SN, ATTSN-PT, NBCSP, NHL.TV)
The Flyers will look to build on the momentum for a 4-3 win against the Penguins on Thursday after trailing 3-0. Pittsburgh is two points behind fourth-place Philadelphia in the MassMutual East Division.
Florida Panthers in the Nashville Predators, 2 pm ET (NHLN, FS-TN, FS-F, NHL.TV)
Aaron Ekblad scored a career-high four points in the NHL (two power-play goals, two assists) for the Panthers in a 5-4 win against the Predators on Thursday and leads the NHL defensement by eight goals this season. Florida is 6-2-2 in its last 10 games and 7-1-1 away.
Toronto Maple Leafs in Vancouver Canucks, 7:00 pm ET (NHLN, CBC, SNO, SNP, NHL.TV)
Maple Leafs held the Edmonton Oilers by one goal in three games before losing 3-1 to the Canucks on Thursday. Center Auston Matthews leads the NHL with 18 goals but has not scored in its last four games.
Minnesota Wild in Arizona Coyotes, 7 p.m. ET (FS-A, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)
Coyote hosted Wild again after losing 5-1 in Arizona on Friday. Minnesota Forward Marcus Foligno has scored 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his last seven games.
Winnipeg Jets in Montreal Canadiens, 7:00 pm ET (ESPN +, CITY, SNE, SNW, TVAS, NHL.TV)
The Jets went on to a five-game run and 12 of 14 more from Winnipeg. Advanced Canadiens Jonathan droops has three assists in four games since Dominique Ducharme replaced Claude Julien as coach on February 24. The 25-year-old scored 242 points (77 goals, 165 assists) in 128 games under Ducharme for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ALT, PRIME, FS-SD, NHL.TV)
The Avalanche will be looking to clear two game sets from the Ducks, who have gone 0-6-3 in their last nine games. An Anaheim defender Hampus Lindholm came out six weeks with a fractured left wrist.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars, 8 pm ET (FS-SW, FS-O, NHL.TV)
The Blue Jackets have won two games in a row since scoring 0-4-1. The Stars are at 1-7-3 since February 4 and have lost six in a row at home (0-3-3).
St. Louis Blues in Los Angeles Kings, 9 p.m. ET (FS-W, FS-MW, NHL.TV)
Blues attacker Vladimir Tarasenko expected to make his season debut following offseason shoulder surgery. St. Louis has won four consecutive games in six trips around California, including a 3-2 overtime win against Kings on Friday. Los Angeles has outperformed 26-13 in the first period.
Calgary Flames at the Edmonton Oilers, 10 p.m. ET (NHLN, CBC, SN, NHL.TV)
The Flames are playing their first game since sacking coach Geoff Ward after a 7-3 win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Ryan Huska’s assistant will train Calgary while Darryl Sutter follows the NHL COVID-19 protocol. The Oilers won 11 of 13 before losing three straight to Maple Leafs.
Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 am ET (TVAS, NBCSCA, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)
The Golden Knights are on a five-game winning streak and are one point clear of the Blues for first in Honda’s Western Division with four games remaining. The Sharks will play their eighth game at the SAP Center after opening the season with 10 away games due to coronavirus restrictions in Santa Clara County, California.